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Geoffrey B. Small

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  • Geoffrey B. Small
    Senior Member
    • Nov 2007
    • 618

    a reply to Gawrodger & beginning of AW2014 new works series


    Dear Gawkrodger,

    Thank you so much for your visit to Hostem and your kind words regarding our work. But I would not be so pessimistic... never say "never."

    You'd be amazed how many times I have heard stories about clients of ours who waited for years before being able to make their first purchase of one of our pieces. All the more reason we feel every day, the intense responsibility and commitment to make sure that their piece becomes and remains one of their most trusted wardrobe investments they ever make.

    We take longer to make our pieces, we take longer to get known about our work, and we take longer to sell our work, but after almost four decades of doing it, we can begin say we last longer than most as well. Our target product life for an average GBS design we now set at 20-25 years each time we go to the drawing board to build a new collection, and that's not just for construction or material issues, but for styling and design as well.

    So it's like buying a good house on good land, if you can save up the capital to acquire it, in the long run you will get your money back ten-fold and it is far, far less expensive than renting. And when you buy your clothes over and over because they either go out of fashion or fall apart or cannot be altered to fit you anymore, we view that as the equivalent of "renting" your wardrobe. A continuous stream of money being spent without benefitting from long-term ownership of the asset. At first glance, one may think one cannot afford to buy the house, but in reality, one really cannot afford not to.

    If we could make and sell our work for less, we would, but the fact is, we can't. Our pricing reflects the true cost and value of what it takes to create and sustain that level of work and product. We know it is higher than most people can believe in spending for a piece of clothing. But our view of what a piece of clothing can do to improve one's life each and every day, is different than most people's today. Because most people have no idea what great clothes really are any more, let alone what they are worth.

    But we do. And since 1979, our mission has been to show the world once again, one person at a time, what is possible- and what is the true value of great clothes made by great people. The price on the tag is for the people who make the clothes. People who live in Western Europe, pay their taxes, support their families, pay their rents or mortgages and spend their money in the local economies of a major western industrialized country. They are people who have spent their lifetimes mastering and refining their knowledge, skill and craft at becoming the best tailors, weavers, artisans and shop-masters in the world. Each one of them faces the same challenges you and I do when it comes down to being able to afford to have a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a doctor or hospital you can go to when you need to, heat and electricity where you live, and so on.

    And so the price of the clothes they create, and the time and materials spent on doing so, must cover these things, without which, people with this level of knowledge and skill cannot continue to do their work and the pieces you experienced in your visit to Hostem would not exist.

    For decades, self-serving industrialists, media gangsters and financial parasites have shielded you from this reality by eliminating skill and passion from the product and moving the making of your clothes to people who they can continuously pay less and less--not only in money, but also in knowledge and skill and craft--and even more importantly, passion and pride. They have done this so well, that the average person's monetary valuation of their clothing, their thinking of how important their clothing is in the quality of their own lives, has dropped 50 times from that of a person living in the 19th century.. when one would "never trust paying less than a full week's wages for a new suit of clothes--for it would never be able to be made right for less than that and be able to stand up with any kind of real use or wear."... a time when people not only wore their clothes for a lifetime, but passed them on to their children as well. Think about that.

    the Great Lie

    Today, more and more we feel we stand alone in this industry which has devastated so many communities around the world with its artfully disguised version of global slavery. Bad for the environment, bad for people and bad for the customer the Great Lie about the true costs of what it really takes to make a piece of good, honest clothing today where every person involved in the total cycle of creation is adequately taken care of- needs to be exposed. You cannot make a pair of pants and retail it for "19.99" or whatever, without someone, somewhere in the cycle getting screwed. The consumer's price does not cover all of the costs of the product cycle. Someone else has to pay.

    Invariably, it is the people who actually perform the physical work to make the product, such as the thousands who have lost their lives in Bangladesh in the past few years and the millions still alive who are paid less than 40 us dollars a month there, and the hundreds of millions of people who have been used and abused and then tossed aside as the relentless global outsourcing of production by large multinational corporations has moved its production from one country to the next. And it is also the consumer who gets a product that doesn't last and doesn't work, and which needs to be continuously repurchased with no end in sight-- a renter's wardrobe that in the end holds zero value for all of the moneys spent to acquire it. And believe me, that money adds up fast. As we witness the steady and systematic elimination of the middle class throughout every western-industrialized country in the world, along with the devastation brought on by globalization and the loss of jobs on a mass-population scale from those countries to ever poorer countries, few other things have made people less well and more insecure today than the rented wardrobe habit. This habit has made the owners of its leading proponents now among the richest 20 individuals in the world, but left its customers numbering in the hundreds of millions, poorer by the day.

    As perhaps one of the last guardians in this world of an alternative way of doing things and an alternative valuation of what clothes should be and what clothes should cost, we know that we carry responsibilities far beyond a typical designer brand just out to sell clothes with some new look or attitude. No, we are here to show the world how to really make clothes again. We are here to provide a growing successful working model for a better way of doing things for a better way of life in the 21st century. And we must remind ourselves each and every day as we work on each and every piece for our customers with our blood, sweat and tears, that we are not just building and selling another piece of clothing, we are also building a dream.

    So don't give up on us so easily, and don't give up on owning some of our clothes someday. Whenever you're ready, we hope to be there for you and take care of you (with both your kidneys intact). And for that, the pricing is what it is.

    Now let's get on to the fun part, starting with some wonderful new Piacenza
    babycamel hair pieces for Hostem...

    Best wishes and thank you again,

    Geoffrey B. Small
    Cavarzere Venezia

    NEW WORKS : GBS limited edition AW2014- a series

    the legendary NNC02

    A formidable alternative to Cashmere from the best cashmere makers in the world:
    consider our Piacenza pure babycamel hair superlux hand dyed coating cloth

    This special version of the super limited edition NNC02 4-button hand made coat design is one
    of only 4 pieces of its kind made by hand in the entire world this season from one of our original
    impeccable single-breasted notch lapel classic coat patterns and cut in super luxury pure Baby
    Camel hair wool fabric woven in Pollone Biella, Italy, by the oldest woolen mill and most
    respected cashmere makers in the world, Fratelli Piacenza 1733 Spa.

    Designed from the inside out, it was combined with special superlux pure silk, and Bemberg
    taffeta linings from Como, all individually hand dyed in our studios with a special process which
    took over 18 hours to reach the precise final color and effect.

    The design also features remarkable real artisan made horn buttons from Parma, Italy, real working
    sleeve buttonholes, and 10 hand stitched buttonholes (each one requires 8-10 minutes to cut
    and sew) and hand stitch detailing in luxurious pure silk Bozzolo Reale Milano Seta thread, generous
    seam allowances on all major seams which provide alteration capability up to 2 sizes up or down for
    maximum lifetime wear by its owner, and is handsigned and numbered by the designer.

    Only four pieces of the NNC02 were built for the world this season,
    each exclusively for Hostem in London.



    • Geoffrey B. Small
      Senior Member
      • Nov 2007
      • 618

      (continued from above)


      A very useful, versatile and ohhhh yessss... extremely cozy, 19th century waistcoat
      and scarf in matching Piacenza pure babycamel hair superlux hand dyed coating
      cloth designed for classic UK weather and life. Another Hostem London
      world exclusive for 2014.

      THIS special version of our super limited edition TNJ03 handmade waistcoat and scarf set
      design is one of only 3 pieces of its kind made by hand in the entire world this season - each
      one exclusively for Hostem in London, using a modified 1910’s 5-button single breasted
      waistcoat vest and cravatte scarf pattern from our extensive historical tailoring research,
      combined with the same special super luxury pure Baby Camel hair wool fabric woven by
      the Fratelli Piacenza 1733 mill as used in the NNC02 (see above), and a beautiful patchwork
      lining story of E. Ghiringhelli jacquard viscose woven in Varese, and jacquard and striped
      viscosa and cotton linings woven in Como Italy by Tessitura Mauri. It was then of course,
      specially and individually hand dyed in our studios with a special process which takes
      well over 8 hours for each piece to achieve all of its special mottled and unique effects and
      amazing softness. The piece features exclusive hand worked buttons in real horn made
      exclusively for us in Parma Italy by Claudia and Cinzia Fontana, and 5 real hand-stitched
      buttonholes in pure silk Bozzolo Reale Milano thread which require at least 8-10 minutes
      to create each one.



      • byhand
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2011
        • 273

        It's frustrating to see the items in this thread, to want to buy them and to be told again and again every time I contact any of the few stores selling GBS's work that there is nothing available. Sold out. I'm probably better off to simply stop looking at this thread.
        Last edited by byhand; 11-11-2014, 04:37 PM.


        • Geoffrey B. Small
          Senior Member
          • Nov 2007
          • 618

          NEW WORKS : Overall. Jacket. Dress. Blouse.

          NEW WORKS :
          GBS limited edition AW2014- a series

          Overall. Jacket. Dress. Blouse.

          A new wardrobe concept in 4 easy pieces.
          exclusively for Hostem's women's store, London

          Working with Luigi Parisotto's deceptively rustic-looking but ultrasoft hand dyed
          organic silk, cashmere and wool pindot weave superlux fabric created only
          for us, we build a functional, elegant and very wearable 4-piece wardrobe
          that will take its owner through Day and Night, Town and Country, through
          this season and many more, with impeccable good taste, functionality and
          of course, incredible living comfort...


          ABOVE: This special version of the super limited edition hand dyed OCWO01 salopette overall
          design is one of only 3 pieces made in the entire world this season- each exclusively for Hostem in
          London, and was made by hand using an organic superlux grezzo (untreated with absolutely no
          chemicals) superlux silk, cashmere and wool raised pindot checked cloth woven exclusively for us
          by Luigi Parisotto and family in Sarcedo Vicenza Italy, one of the world’s leading artisan research
          fabric weavers, all individually double hand dyed in our studios with a special process that requires
          over 12 hours for each piece. The beautiful buttons in real olive wood were made expressly for us in
          Padova Italy. And the no less than 13 real hand sewn buttonholes in luxurious pure silk Bozzolo
          Milano Reale threads required at least 8-10 minutes to create each one (over 2 hours of super skilled
          work just on the buttonholes alone). A careful look at the stitching also reveals a particularly time-
          consuming piece to create, even for us- the OCWO01's historical early 20th century U.S. workwear
          reproduction pattern's trim line and rugged construction details require extensive double-stitched
          seams which were not done using any type of double-needle stitch equipment, but rather, entirely
          single-needle stitched with intense manual accuracy and far more than double the amount of time to
          complete the work versus using typical double-needle machinery. The result however, we believe is
          well worth it though. On close inspection, one can see that the double-stitches used all over the piece
          were not done in a single industrial specialized factory machine operation, but had to be completed
          in separate, totally individual steps using only the most basic of sewing machine equipment. This
          clear sign of early manual operating approach to crafting work clothes, amazingly accurate, beautiful,
          but unquestionably a touch irregular, like an artist's pencil rendering... along with the sublime touch
          and feel of the hand dyed, hand treated superlux silk, cashmere and wool in your hand as you look at
          the detail... truly enhances the unique viewing and of course, wearing experience of this wonderful
          piece. A piece that is both rugged, comfortable and at the same time, surprisingly elegant to wear.
          Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 11-14-2014, 01:57 AM.


          • Geoffrey B. Small
            Senior Member
            • Nov 2007
            • 618

            (continued from above)


            ONE OF ONLY 5 PIECES of its kind made in the entire world this season, of which, only 3 pieces
            were made for all of Europe exclusively for Hostem in London... this TNWJ08 hand made jacket
            design was created from our original modified 19th century 2-buttoned peak-lapel pattern and cut
            in the same organic grezzo (untreated with absolutely no chemicals) superlux silk, cashmere and
            wool fabric woven only for us by Luigi Parisotto. It was combined with a special lining story of
            jacquard weave cotton and super soft authentic Bemberg cupro sleeve lining fabrics from Como
            and Novara Italy respectively, then individually hand dyed in our studios in a time-consuming
            manual process that required at least 6 hours for each piece. The design also features beautiful
            buttons created in real mother-of-pearl shell made for us in Padova, Italy, and real hand stitched
            buttonholes (each one requires 8-10 minutes to cut and sew) in pure silk Bozzolo Reale Seta Milano
            threads, and is handsigned and numbered by the designer.
            Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 11-14-2014, 01:56 AM.


            • Geoffrey B. Small
              Senior Member
              • Nov 2007
              • 618

              (continued from above)


              A HOSTEM LONDON EUROPEAN EXCLUSIVE: This super limited edition TNWD02 special hand
              made dress is one of only 5 pieces made in the entire world this season. Of these, just 3 pieces were
              created for all of Europe exclusively for Hostem in London from our original pattern and cut in an
              organic grezzo (untreated with absolutely no chemicals) superlux silk, cashmere and wool raised
              pindot checked cloth woven exclusively us at Sarcedo by Luigi Parisotto. It was combined with
              equally special E. Ghiringhelli jacquard loomed viscose linings from Varese Italy, then individually
              hand dyed in our studios in the centuries old time-consuming manual process that requires at least
              6 hours of work for each piece achieve its beautiful patinas, colors and mind-blowing softness and
              feel. Seriously. And obviously, as one can see from the images, it is a piece designed to be worn for
              a full and busy life, with a million different things in a million different ways. A definitive example of
              our concept of high value, long-term design for life.
              Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 11-14-2014, 01:55 AM.


              • Geoffrey B. Small
                Senior Member
                • Nov 2007
                • 618

                (continued from above)


                ONE OF ONLY 3 IN THE WORLD: This special hand dye black version of the super limited edition STWS04.1 handmade shirt design is one of only 3 pieces made in the entire world this season exclusively for Hostem in London using an exclusive super lightweight silk and cotton stripe weave chiffon cloth woven in Como, Italy. The piece, with its exquisite soft rounded lines and elegant pleating and darting in all the right places, features a special design and cut from our mid 1900’s period research, and was made with handstitched buttonholes (which require 8-10 minutes to create each one) a special story in luxurious pure silk Bozzolo Milano Seta Reale threads, and real black mother-of-pearl buttons made for us in Padova, Italy and then sewn on with an irregular number mathematical pattern of alternating black and natural pure cotton undyed threads. It was then specially hand dyed in our studios using our process derived from our middle ages textile research which requires 6 hours of work for a single piece to achieve its special color and patina effects. Even the label is attached with a beautiful handstitch technique that defies any possible provenance from anything resembling a factory or production line. A beautiful, timeless and yes, extremely rare, blouse design that can be worn with all 3 of the hand made tailored pieces in Luigi Parisotto's superlux silk, cashmere and wool cloth shown above, and a million other things as well. Living proof that less truly can be...more.
                Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 11-14-2014, 01:55 AM.


                • surver
                  Senior Member
                  • Oct 2007
                  • 638

                  GBS NNJ05 Piacenza Super 180s Ecstasy Wool Jacket eth0s Special Edition (1 of 2)

                  recently i came into acquisition of Geoffrey's special edition of the NNJ05 Piacenza Super 180s Ecstasy Wool Jacket (thanks to eth0s), and have virtually been 'living' in it...

                  forget all the intellectualizations, anatomical here and there, overlock and object-dyed this or that; THIS, is the pinnacle of solid, real clothes-making. never have i experienced a [form-fitting] [western archetypal] constructed/structured blazer-jacket that 'disappears', 'ceases to be' on wearing...

                  while the bulk of artisanal/avant-garde (i hate this word now as it is so overly mis-used, but have to refer to it for lack of a better overall descriptive adjective) designer clothing revered here at SZ (many of which i love and respect very much) tend to build-in some sort or another kind of 'resistance' to provoke dialogue between the body and garment, Geoffrey goes to the opposite extreme, back to the very roots of classic clothes-making in the most honest, direct way (of course, with his own twists and innovations)... and the result is this profound phenomena that a jacket can 'step back' so much and not only not exert its presence on the wearer, it virtually becomes invisible on wear... this is way beyond mere comfort/discomfort notions in the conventional sense, as the jacket's cutting and fit has attained to such a state of 'naturalness', conforming and synchronizing with my every move, that i literally forget that i am wearing a 'jacket', only to be reminded when i happen to pass by a mirror for instance in the hallway or in the bathroom... this, to me, is an ultimate state that a piece of clothing can ever achieve.


                  Geoffrey, a full 90 degree salutation to you
                  Last edited by surver; 12-14-2014, 04:29 PM.


                  • Faust
                    kitsch killer
                    • Sep 2006
                    • 37849

                    Originally posted by noumenos
                    Geoffrey, I'm reading your thread since the beginning, and I generally agree with your positions. But when it comes to price point, I have to realize that even if I give to you an entire month of my salary, it would not be enough to buy one of your coat.
                    So what can I do ? I also need to have a roof over my head, food in the fridge, or a doctor. Considering this price point, it's like that your work and time have to be remunerated far more than mine. So I'm asking why ? Like you, I have spent years to develop my skills, have worked harder and harder to become one of the best in my speciality.
                    Please do not forget that an average markup in a store is 3x the wholesale price, so I would not put this responsibility on Geoffrey's shoulders alone - he receives the wholesale price for his and his employee's labor, which I'd say is reasonable for what he does.

                    Having said that, I would be curious to hear Geoffrey's thoughts on going direct to consumer and bypassing retail.
                    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

                    StyleZeitgeist Magazine


                    • Geoffrey B. Small
                      Senior Member
                      • Nov 2007
                      • 618

                      Thank you & How a Lost Art can and must still be saved

                      Dear Friends, Thank you each for your recent posts and comments. I apologize but I am currently unable to have enough time to answer them all thoroughly, but will try briefly to address a few...

                      In regards to pricing, I will state again that our prices are what they are; and they are absolutely necessary to be able to consistently provide the ever-increasing levels of service, personalization, quality, research and design excellence that our clientele around the world demands. I would also state that compared to many others, offering far less of these things at similar and yes, even higher price points… our prices are still an unbeatable value for money in the international designer market today.

                      Our distribution and production capacity is based upon the current maximum capacity our small but growing team of just 8, I repeat 8, persons working at the new Via Spalato workrooms in Cavarzere, can humanly create and achieve these extreme standards of excellence. Believe me, we work hard, flat-out, just reaching 1,400 handbuilt pieces for the entire world in 2014, a new record.

                      It is also based on the slow, steady, and selective choice of our exclusive dealers who have demonstrated the courage, vision and commitment to extend the extreme levels of human service, knowledge and excellence required to take care of our customer in the way we know is necessary to ensure and develop the maximum value and satisfaction over many years of ownership and loyal patronage. If anyone out there thinks we intend to undercut them by selling directly to the public for a price lower than they must charge to offer our work themselves, they are mistaken. These courageous partners face enormous competition, expenses, risks and financial commitments to do what they do in order to be able to make a collection of our level available to the public. And we respect them for it. If someday, we are able to do the same service somewhere in the world where they do not operate, be assured that the prices in our store would be the same as the prices of our existing retail client partners. And most probably, be even higher as we would be intending to offer many of our most advanced materials, designs and services which today, due to their even higher costs, are out of the reach of the majority of our exclusive authorized dealers and are never even seen in any store.

                      I state again, please don't mix us up with anything else. We are not like any other collection in the market today. We do not wish to be the biggest. Or the most famous. Or the most well-known. And certainly not the most easy to come by. There is only one goal. One aim. One concern. To make the best designer clothes in the world today. Nothing else.

                      And that requires an entirely different set of skills, priorities and approach. If the pieces are difficult to find and buy, and are consistently sold-out by our retail partners around the world at full price, perhaps there is a reason for it. And perhaps it is indicative that all of us working together on this are doing our jobs successfully in a very difficult, challenging and competitive market.

                      As for changing these parameters, as I have stated before on this forum many times… that is entirely dependent on one thing. A complete and total revolution in regards to the re-teaching and re-building of the relevant tailoring craft skills and technologies to a new generation of practitioners and consumers in a large enough critical mass, to change and reverse the devastation brought upon all of us by the industrial corporate globalization & slavery movement in textiles, clothing and fashion, over the past century and a half.

                      You cannot have easily and readily affordable and available decent tailored clothing, until you have enough readily and available decent tailors with adequate training, experience, skill sets, and materials, to provide to a wider range of customers in the general public and market place. And until even many SZ people out there begin to truly understand the importance and value of the tailor- not the "designer," but the tailor, the person who makes the clothes with their mind and hands, and his/her critical role in our society and global community today- as well as in this discussion we label on this forum as "artisanal clothing design", I am afraid I will continue to have to be forced to try to reply to these kinds of repetitive endless questions ad infinitum on the pricing and availability of our work. The pricing is high because the demand exists and the availability is low. If you dislike our price or question it, I suggest you read this thread thoroughly (all the way from the beginning in 2009), or better yet, explore what it takes to make exactly the same article by yourself. How much time, knowledge and effort, as well as each of the masterpiece sub-components and materials that are required for their creation and what it takes to get to the point where you can even get a chance to work with them. And then look at what you and all the other people in the chain would need to make to live on to provide it consistently including getting it all to where you are. The math may become more simple and clear. For me, it took 4 decades of commitment and sacrifice, and then totally moving my life and family to another part of the world from which I came from. And now, every month- it requires a minimum between 30 to 100 thousand euros in receipts to take care of and pay for every single person and firm that is contributing something to make it all happen. If you think you can create the same product and sell it for less than it is selling for now, be my guest. But I assure you, you cannot. Because whatever you do to sell or make it for less, it will not be the same thing.

                      Honestly people... even on SZ, we have got to get a handle on this instant gratification crap. I am sorry that some cannot just jump online and "cop" one of our pieces, and then sell it to someone else perhaps for a profit when they get tired of it etc.., and cannot just go to any typical designer sheep store or e-commerce site and see the collection like all of the others often at discount. It just doesn't work that way with us. Luxury? Damn right. But what is luxury today anyway… have you looked recently? Luxury is being redefined. More and more it simply means something that works and helps keep you functional, safe or alive in an increasingly dangerous and chaotic world. For many, even a glass of clean water is luxury. For over a billion people in the world today luxury would be a toilet and running water they could have access to. For others, it is a night without a drone strike in your house. For, 1 in 50 in the world, it is a roof, any roof, over your head that you can call a house. But for the Monsanto execs in their own company cafeteria, it is the organic food which is served to them as opposed to what they expect the rest of us and the world to eat. For the Vatican, it is solar power and renewable energy as they build the biggest solar plant in Europe over the roofs of Vatican City while simultaneously pushing nuclear energy- with all of its unsustainable and enormous costs, risks, and dangers- on the other 57 million people in Italy to pay for and live with. For our banking, credit card, financial services, computer, phone, mobile, cable, utility, and travel companies, even skype... luxury now is having a human being you can talk to and help you as opposed to only having access to an automated system that runs you in circles. In every case, you have to pay more for it. And all too soon, you will experience one kind of internet if you can afford to pay enough for it.... and an altogether different internet if you cannot.

                      You see, corporations and their now fully-owned and operated governments and states around the world are giving you more and more products that are making you poor and making them rich, all under the disguise of a "low price," and "affordable," when in fact, they are neither. The "simple math" is not as simple as it looks. Cheap is not cheap. And when it comes to clothes, it is no different. A growing mountain of evidence continues to back what I stated and wrote about in "Eco-Fashion" over 5 years ago. Few industries are doing more to damage and destroy our ability as human beings to survive sustainably and economically on this earth than our own. And everyone, from producers to resellers to consumers must do their part to correct it.

                      We are doing our part on our end... day and night, each and every day, by providing one of the world's most remarkable and growing working models that answers the majority of problems we are now facing as a result of this metastasized corporate industrial power and movement. We are keeping and maintaining a market for this level of work and leading an entirely new design movement to promote it, we are aggressively maintaining and building upon the ages-old sustainable technologies of making amazing clothes by hand, we are developing one of the world's great tailoring and design schools and carefully developing great new people and talent for the future.

                      But it takes time. And an enormous amount of work. And it takes skill. And money and resources. And our current business model, including our pricing and distribution and production capacities, is precisely what is allowing us to be able to do so. Your continuing patience, understanding and support are greatly appreciated. We hope to be able to provide anyone who sincerely wishes it, with the experience someday of owning some of our work. And in thanks to all the people who have worked so hard to get us this far, we would now like to present this short video piece dedicated to each one of them which we have just completed.

                      Thank you for reading, and for watching...

                      Best wishes,

                      Geoffrey for everyone

                      Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 01-03-2015, 05:19 PM. Reason: spelling corrections


                      • kaneneu
                        Junior Member
                        • Feb 2014
                        • 5

                        Originally posted by noumenos
                        Thank you for taking such long time to answer Geoffrey. But my purpose was not to say that your price point was unjustified. Again, I just mean that, imo, you can't tell to everyone that saving money for months (or years ?) to but a luxury coat would be a good investment. It's definitely not. It depends on people standard of leaving, as you clearly explained in your post.

                        And, I'm sorry, but the the math are truly simple for me: it is what I earn vs what producers/artisans are asking for their quality stuff. If I want to support hard working people and pay the true price of everything (food, furniture, clothing etc...) I won't have a roof over my head anymore. But I prefer to have a roof and pay quality food for my family and I than to have a luxury coat.
                        Well then you've kind of sealed your own argument; this particular luxury is, quite simply, unaffordable for you. This does not mean Geoffrey's clothes are not a good investment. I think you have focused too much on the fact he made a slight generalisation (or, more precisely, an assumption of the social/economic status of the majority of readers of this forum) when he said it would be worth saving up for.


                        • zamb
                          Senior Member
                          • Nov 2006
                          • 5834

                          as requested............


                          I dont think you understand Geoffrey position very well. Since I know him personally and we have spoken at length about the craft and his approach, when I have the time i will explain it to you in better detail.

                          Geoffrey approach to his work is not to see his work and making clothing as divorced from different aspects and industries of the world. He sees it as connected to and intertwined with the very structure of society in one form or another. He sees and bears the weight of his responsibility in creating (or at the very least preserving what is left of) a humane and dignified approach to living and respecting fellow human beings. He is saying is returning and sticking to a more natural way of making clothing (among other things) is better for himself, the environment and human beings in general. because he us not participating in a system that misuses and abuses the worlds resources to provide cheap stuff in order to enrich himself.
                          His work is made purely by the Skill and knowledge of himself and the people around him rather than searching the Globe for the next cheapest venue to produce items in the name of higher profit margins.

                          I dont want ot spend too much time on it as I will speak to you otherwise, but as for me I have personally given up on trying to educate people as to how heavy it is to maintain this metier with integrity and social responsibility, when the concept of FAIR VALUE seems incomprehensible to them

                          Most people want things cheap and they do not want to spend money on great clothing and appreciate it for a long time, nor do they think about the benefit of such an approach to the greater society. The manner in which Geoffrey (and many others do business is to basically eliminate many of the people who take this kind of approach to purchasing and using clothing because it stands diametrically opposed to his philosophy

                          On the subject of Philosophy I think his approach fits perfectly into Kant's statement in the Categorical imperative:
                          "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law"
                          Last edited by zamb; 01-05-2015, 04:53 PM.
                          “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
                          .................................................. .......................

                          Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock


                          • old
                            Senior Member
                            • Jul 2009
                            • 132

                            Regarding Noumenos' problem, from a consumer's perspective, buying second hand could be a good for maintaining both quality of life and ethics.
                            Tradition ist Bewahrung des Feuers und nicht Anbetung der Asche.


                            • Geoffrey B. Small
                              Senior Member
                              • Nov 2007
                              • 618

                              in haste...


                              Dear Friends,

                              Thank you for your comments.

                              First let me express my deep sadness and concern over the events in France in the last few days, we have refrained from posting for awhile in respect of all the people and what has been going on.

                              To Zam, thanks as always for your help and kind words in trying to sort out this matter with Noumenos. The feeling is of course mutual on my part for you, and I do feel as though there is far less to disagree about than he or she appears to feel. I am a bit saddened that he/she feels a need to state in a post that he or she does not respect me, but I think perhaps if we had a chance to meet face to face and simply talk in person there would not be such an issue. And though I do not know who he or she is, what he or she does for work/income, nor anything else about his or her situation, I will still try to maintain my respect for his or her opinion and situation and say so here as such. Noumenos seems to want do things for ethical and sustainable living and so do I, so what is most important is for us each to do our part and keep the movement going.

                              But honestly, I really do not feel Noumenos has researched my work, my actual prices (in relation to what else is out there), position and views on this thread or elsewhere very thoroughly. For the record, we went through this discussion in-depth with Johnny and others more than 3 years ago on this thread in 2011 when my interview in Masterpiece came out. For reference, please review my 3 posts and everyone else's in between…

                              Masterpiece interview:

                              My first post to Johnny:

                              My additional follow-up post:

                              … I think if noumenos really looks reads and listens to what I have to say, in particular at my first post to Johnny (#459) for example, he or she will find that the first thing I have always strongly suggested to those who cannot afford to buy our work like Old stated, is that the best solution is in fact, buying and using recycle vintage or used clothing. It is by far and away the best sustainability action for concerned consumers; and in many ways, what we are simply trying to recreate and bring back now for a new age where that level of quality and clothing and skill is disappearing. Second, I think I make it quite clear that I too support purchasing from Zam Barrett and others trying to do similar things- i.e.making clothes for people independently in their way with their resources and their communities.

                              In fact, if Noumenos really knew my record, he or she would know that not only did we revolutionize avant-garde fashion in the 1990's by pioneering recycle design with used clothing at the Paris designer level, we did it with the lowest-priced Paris designer collection in the circuit for almost a decade. Our average retail price for our pieces was under 100 US dollars and we produced, sold and shipped over 10,000 individual pieces of them around the world from our 115 Kingston Street Ateliers in Boston Massachussets, so we know a lot about lower prices and what it entails and what it really costs. And I have also spent decades supporting and greatly assisting the launching of dozens of independent designers trying to break through and get a start in this part of the industry…including more than 65 independent designers from Europe, Asia and North America who presented over 191 individual collection presentations in Paris to the international fashion industry at the highest creative levels (and the lowest exhibition costs because we took no commissions and no profit above cost to any our colleagues) from 2003-2010 at the Area Paris and Area Private exhibitions which I founded and organized…. many of whom have threads on them here on SZ today, and many many others who have become the best practicing tailors or designers in their cities or their communities. But I really do not have the time right now to go on about this forever here on this thread and would prefer to get on with showing some our new works instead to other SZ readers who appreciate them and what they really stand for.

                              In any case in buona fede and with maximum respect and cordiality, here is an invite for you Noumenos, and a guest, to my show next week in Paris. If you can come maybe we can get a chance to meet in person and you can get a chance to learn a little bit more about me and the people who work with me and what we are really about. As the space will be limited to only 60 persons, I do kindly ask that you rsvp immediately to Mr. Lionel Cisinski to secure your place to see the show. RSVP: Mr. Lionel Cisinski at

                              Cheers and in haste,




                              • zamb
                                Senior Member
                                • Nov 2006
                                • 5834

                                All the best on your Presentation my Friend!
                                I will certainly miss it but i am staying put in New York this season!

                                see you again in June and i will be sure to reply to your email when i get a chance

                                All the best and Blessings to you and the team!
                                “You know,” he says, with a resilient smile, “it is a hard world for poets.”
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                                Zam Barrett Spring 2017 Now in stock